An Eritrean Christian woman who was tortured in prison has revealed that her faith helped her get through the darkest of times, describing the experience as a "honeymoon with Jesus."
"When we visited Gabriella at home, she stood up from her seat to welcome us. We immediately saw how much weight she had lost in prison. We could see that she had suffered much. But despite the weakness, Gabrielle looked to us like a soldier who has returned from war victorious. Her joy was very visible and quite overwhelming. We asked her to tell us what she had gone through. Instead of giving a litany of woes, anger or fear, Gabrielle simply said, 'It was a honeymoon with Jesus!'" shared a group of pastors who visited the woman, named only as "Gabrielle," according to a press release shared by persecution watchdog group Open Doors.
Gabrielle, along with other Christians, was jailed for participating in an underground church. While the government officially grants religious freedom to some religious groups, such as the Roman Catholic Church, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church (which is not recognized by the Orthodox papacy), the Evangelical Lutheran Church and Sunni Islam, are deemed illegal. Christian Solidarity Worldwide has said that as many as 2,000-3,000 Protestant Christians have been jailed for their beliefs. more >>
A recently released resource anthology chronicling centuries of Christian persecution has exposed the intense suffering and martyrdom followers of Jesus Christ have been subjected to around the world, and the book responds to claims that such accounts have been hyped or propagandized.
The book, Sorrow & Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution, and Martyrdom, took four years to complete by the editorial team of William Taylor (USA), Tonica van der Meer (Brazil), and Reg Reimer (Canada), and includes 62 writers from 23 nations who collaborated together on the ambitious project to give voice to the stories of remarkable perseverance in the face of persecution Christians have faced throughout the centuries in all corners of the world.
Below is an edited transcript of an email interview The Christian Post did with Taylor, who is the founder and president of TaylorGlobalConsult.com, as well as the senior mentor, Mission Commission, at World Evangelical Alliance. Taylor was born in 1940 in Costa Rica where his parents were serving as missionaries, and he lived for 30 years in Latin America, where he also served as a missionary along with his wife, Yvonne, in Guatemala. more >>
Thousands of Coptic Christians arrived at the Church of the Virgin Mary in Cairo's Waraa neighborhood Monday to pay their respects to four victims who were shot and killed in the same building the night before during a wedding ceremony for three Coptic couples. The attack is the latest among increasing violence towards the Coptic minority from Islamic extremists in the country.
Various chants from funeral attendees could reportedly be heard as hundreds of Copts filed through the church's doors. "With our blood and souls, we will redeem the cross" some chanted as the four funeral caskets were about to be carried into the church, according to the Associated Press.
Some of those attending the tragic ceremony expressed anger towards Sunday night's shooters, yelling: "Justice or to die like them," and "Raise your head, you're Coptic." more >>
An increase in violent activity, including bombings in Northern Iraq, is forcing Christians to flee the region in panic, even though the area is considered one of the safest in the country until recent developments.
The growing number of attacks in the region include a Sept. 22 suicide bomb that went off at the home of Christian politician Emad Youhanna in Rafigayn, which injured 19 people including three of Youhanna's children, World Watch Monitor reported. Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for a number of other recent attacks, while Christians in surrounding villages have complained about harassment from police.
"It remains urgent to pray for the future of Christianity in this country," watchdog group Open Doors USA said. "If the present trend continues, there might be no Christian left in the whole of Iraq by 2020." The group added that although a number of Christians are still choosing to stay, their concern over safety is growing, and they may be left with little choice but to leave. more >>
Officials of a Colorado city have opted to allow a pastor and his family to place the name "Jesus" on a tombstone for his recently deceased wife, reversing a previous decision.
Mark Baker, pastor of Harvest Baptist Church, will now be able to have the name "Jesus" put on his late wife's headstone when originally the city of Sterling had barred it.
Malaysian Christians are still permitted to refer to God as "Allah" during mass and church services, reaffirmed the country's Minister of National Unity on Monday.
Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, the minister of national unity and a member of parliament representing Peninsular Malaysia reaffirmed that the outcome of a recent Court of Appeal's case which barred a Catholic publication from using "Allah" to refer to God, has no bearing on Christians' ability to use it in their church services.
"I am aware that the ruling is only applicable to the Herald case. It is specific to the Herald case. This means those who are in Sabah and Sarawak are still free to use that 'Allah' word," Kurup said in a press conference. more >>